The presentation that my classmate did on Jean Piaget offered a helpful summary on his contribution to child development regarding his theory of Cognitive Development. It was explained how this theory expressed that development occurs in a gradual, orderly manner. During the stages of development changes in the mental process become more complex. That there are critical periods that happen and that if learning doesn’t happen during these critical periods that it never will. As a future educator of childhood education this presentation was very helpful for me and allowed me to have a better understanding of cognitive development and it’s importance.
An article that provided additional information about cognitive development and how it relates to the classroom that I found beneficial is below.
Cognitive development refers to the student’s understanding of concepts and the ability to think and reason. While language stimulates cognitive development, language sophistication influences cognitive abilities. The ability to interact with others while using language helps students develop cognitive skills. Students who are deaf or hard of hearing have the same capability for cognitive development as do students with normal hearing.
The educational interpreter plays a vital role in a student’s cognitive development. Most interpreters are able to use language to communicate concepts that are simple or often used. However, a skilled educational interpreter must not only understand the concept of cognitive development, he or she must also be able to handle the complex task of using language to communicate concepts that are new, abstract or difficult.
The following core standards were used by EIPA Diagnostic Center experts to develop EIPA Written test questions regarding cognitive development:
- A Piagetian approach to cognitive development assumes that cognitive development is independent from language development.
- Information enters the mind to stimulate cognitive development through perception of sound, visual information, speech, and touch.
- Cultural background affects cognition by helping to define what we know, what is important, how we approach new tasks, how we interact.
- Socialization is an important aspect of cognitive development.
- Play has an important role in cognitive development.
- Teacher’s questions can require different levels of abstraction in terms of cognitive skills. Taxonomy: Demonstration of knowledge; Comprehension; Application; Analysis; Synthesis; Evaluation.
- Organizing a text spatially may help a student organize the text cognitively.
- Cognitive organization helps students store and remember concepts. Providing students with repetition allows them to see patterns, parallels, comparisons, and similarities, which all help them learn.
- In terms of cognitive development, students learn when there is a conflict between what they think and new information that they receive. Often this causes the student to accommodate, or to modify a cognitive scheme, based on new information.
- A cognitive scheme is a cognitive structure that organizes information, making sense of experience. Students develop schemes in many different domains: motor, language, thinking, social, etc.
- Students interpret the world and experiences in terms of their cognitive schemes, which have been developed based on previous experiences.
- Students often need support to learn new concepts in terms of contextualization, breaking down concepts, etc. Effective support can include practice, repetition, and experience which aide in generalizing a concept.
- A student’s ability to repeat a concept does not mean the student understands it. Students can memorize language without understanding what it really means. When a student can answer questions spontaneously about the concept, or can show that he understands, there is better evidence that the student has learned.
- Understanding a concept and being able to talk about a concept are not the same. Being able to talk about a concept often helps a student understand it.
- The goal of education is for students to acquire thinking skills, not to just memorize facts.
- Students are like little scientists, trying to explore and figure out how the world works based on what they see, do, and hear.
- Students learn a great deal from exploration, making mistakes, and self-correction.
- Behavioral approaches to learning propose that positive behavior can be increased by the use of positive re-enforcers. Negative behavior can be decreased by the use of punishment or withdrawal of privileges. Strict behaviorism does not recognize the active cognitive construction on the part of the student.